SMAC is a fun democratic design brand by Sandra Macaron. It offers a variety of home decor accessories made of glossy acrylic, to fit any ambiance. Colourful, fresh, bold, dynamic, and rich is how one would define SMAC’s of-a-kind designs. Each collection comes with an inspirational story behind it, to trigger our senses and feelings.
The Lebanese-born designer approach may seem modern, but Macaron never has forgotten the past. The home-ware product designer is famous for displaying traditional oriental patterns mixed with contemporary materials. Here, the designer highlights on her favourite projects, the journey that led here today and what the year has in store for her eponymous brand.
Take us on the journey that led to what is known today as SMAC.
It was a simple table that set me on this path!
While working on the interior design of an apartment, I designed a set of tables for that particular client that attracted a lot of his visitors. I started receiving calls about making more, and as the orders increased, the collection started growing from furniture, lighting fixtures to home accessories. So the process came naturally, it’s a business that ended up choosing me!
What are your biggest influences?
I have always been fascinated by personal stories and old anecdotes; my Mother and Father’s crazy eloping wedding, my Armenian grandparent’s deportation journey.
You will notice this influence in our products such as the ‘Remene’ collection featuring geometric representations of pomegranates, symbolizing fertility and abundance in the Armenian culture. The ‘Blatt’ or ‘Terrazzo’ collection, inspired by the old cement tiles, reminding the floors of old traditional Lebanese houses back in Beirut’s golden ages.
Tell us more about the production process at SMAC; what are the materials used and where do you produce?
Developing a product is like planting. Sometimes you wait years for a flower to grow and other times it just blooms immediately. At SMAC we mostly use Plexi-glass and all our products are hand-made in Lebanon.
What triggered you into being a designer?
I guess my curious and experimental nature as a kid drove me to being a designer. I have always sought change, from do-it-yourself crafts, painting my room walls, changing the display of my furniture, all that leading me to the design world and to driving my mother mad.
Name your favorite Middle Eastern designer you dream of collaborating with one day.
I would pick the Iranian designer, India Mahdavi.
What attracts you the most about patterns?
I am mostly attracted to repetitive shapes that transform a hard material into an intricate and light form. For example the ‘Remene’ patterns transforming the plexi-glass look like fabric.
Define SMAC’s philosophy.
SMAC is a fun, colorful, splashy, bold, vibrant and democratic home accessories design brand based in Beirut. Behind every collection is a story to tell to convey a nostalgic sentiment. SMAC’s philosophy is to keep reviving old memories and to bring them to life through contemporary products.
Name some of your favorite projects so far.
I have worked in many fields, from interiors, furniture, products to lighting design. My Coup de Coeur would be ‘DD’ the multipurpose sculpture I designed in homage to my Grand-Father. It can be placed in various positions, transforming it into a console or a bookshelf. This piece has a ripping sensation enhanced by the copper structure characterizing the roots, fighting to stay in place. Representations of those individuals were torn away from their own homes and families.
How does being settled in Beirut affect your work?
I love Beirut, an amazing city of contrasts that keeps inspiring me every day. Most of my collections are inspired by traditional architectural elements found in beautiful old Beirut’s dwellings. It’s a city that never stops surprising me!
What makes you stand out among other designers?
My recipe for standing out is a pinch of passion, a touch of belief, and a lot of hard work.
Do you have any rules?
Trust your instincts!
In your opinion, which will be the top trends in interior design in 2018?
I would say “Old is the new Black”. Everything from the past is coming back to life; from retro prints, to old fashioned furniture, to ancient materials…
What is next for Sandra Macaron?
Sandra is nowhere near finishing building her business; she has big plans for SMAC. It should grow in all aspects: a bigger design team, in-house production, multiple branches and an international franchise. I’m hoping to reach New York, Paris and Tokyo one day.